Saturday, 18 January 2014

New Blog!

Just to let anyone who stumbles upon my blog here, i now have a brand new blog over  here:

hope to see you there!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Running Out of Steam

The title says it all really, for whatever reason i've nearly just completely run out of steam and motivation. It's not just this advent blog, but also lectures which are being affected. It's got to the point where i'm not really sure whether it's still worth blogging daily, as i seem to be just writing loads of sort apology posts, which wasn't exactly the point. Maybe it's because of a total lack of material, that might be true, but there's plenty of things to write about out there. Although i do know that my writing style really doesn't work like that, if someone gives me a topic to write about i can normally spurt out some totally grade a waffle. Otherwise i just tend to well... write, it normally starts with only a simple idea and then my brain just takes it wherever, sometimes without ever really being consciously recognized.

 Surely given that i could very easily pick a news story of a event of the day and just start writing about it then. I could but i really think the core problem here is deeper than just writing style. For starters the reason i really can't be bothered today, goes down to the fact that currently i want to go and talk to other people elsewhere in college, unsurprisingly writing blogs isn't the most social thing in the world. This feeling has been especially empahised this last week as the realisation that i only have a few nights left here in Durham and that it might be nice to actually spend that time talking to them in person. Will it be easier when i'm back home? No, if anything it'll be harder as the there i want to spend all the time i can chilling out with my girlfriend. After all i only have 5 weeks at home before coming back to uni for another term.

The other reason is the Pokemon game, which is no longer following the rules of the Nuzlocke challenge: i still can only catch the first Pokemon in each area, but the fainting equates to dying is no longer in effect, but the nickname one is and is the cause for the attachment that doesn't want me to release them once fainted really. Does this make the whole thing a futile exercise, well in terms of Pokemon, no as i'm still using Pokemon previously that i wouldn't. In terms of general life, yes it is quite futile but so is playing Pokemon at uni really.

This leads me on to the final reason why i think i've run out of steam. The workload. No not the huge amount of work i have to do, quite the opposite. Engineering has quite simply wound down for Christmas with less lectures no maths work or problem sheets, and only a solitary CAD assignment to dig into, which before you ask will be finished tomorrow once i've queried a few things. It's similar to sleep really, if you sleep little you'll be tired, but if on the other hand you sleep too much and relax too much, you'll be just as tired.

Having said all these things about why my questioning of the daily blogging, i now realise that they are somewhat hypocritical as they have given me something to write about. However i can say, and previosu days can testify, that this will not be the case everyday. I will keep blogging daily though, whether for the odd moment of inspiration that was lurking below the surface, or just to keep me in habit so when something does happen which i can write about, i will be forced to write about it. See you all tomorrow.

Day 10- double digits, doesn't really mean much since we're still less than half way.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Return of The Sun

For you the sun may have never gone away, but for the past 10 weeks i've been living in as room which had a serious deficiency of it. I walked into my new room today and bam it hit me, with full glory as well. I mean for a while sunglasses were and option so as to get used to it. The view of the bins and loading area for college isn't great i grant you, especially when compared to the nice tree lined road of previous, but that doesn't make an iota of difference to me now.

Sun! It has returned to me, though i might add not at the very moment, my room isn't magic or anything so no nightime sunshine for me... well not until i can find the funding for my... plans, totally normal plans which have little to do with any kind of world domination. Why the heck would i want sunshine at night? well to be honest, i only just thought of that, but it would have some positive side effects for me, but also thinking about it now some drawbacks.

The main reason i like sun so much is down to the fact of the way it makes me feel. Happy? No, not anymore than the usual person, what it does exceed in doing though is making me very sleepy. With sun shining through my window a nap is only seconds away, and i'm not exaggerating, during study leave this was a regular occurrence. During the time of the day when it blessed my room with it's presence i just lay on my floor and slept, simple as. It was great times and made the day so much better and relaxing, which is exactly what you need during revision... well revision would also help, which was found lacking due to the sun induced naps.

So there's one drawback really, with sun work is even harder to do, though i'm at uni now so i should be more responsible, i'm sure i can use it as some sort of incentive to working: finish this and give yourself a well deserved hour nap. Hopefully that'll work, otherwise i could be scuppered next term, though having said this Pokemon is currently having a similar effect on my work ethic. In my defence the only work i have, i have done at least 70% of and i can't do much more until resolving a few queries, so i'm not just skiving. Also how can i work when i've assemble the crack team of Pokemon, there's: Geoff the gastly, Colin the furret, Mc-Owlface the hoothoot, Sprigy the hopit, Nils the sandshrew and the space for one more key member.

As you may have guessed the Nuzlocke challenge is going well, although i really want to forget the challenge now and just pursue the normal game just with these Pokemon and one other hardly used one. The major problem i have is that after naming them i can't face to replace them and so i'm just going for it with them. Updates will continue as my goal of reaching the Elite four by friday stays strong.

The only thing that has happened due to the sun, is the lack of wintery feeling now, which has slightly halted my festivities, but the next week i'm sure will be packed with such as to make up for it, and i will get used to having the sun back anyway, but never forgot the joy it has brought. So in a similar way i hope that i don't forgot the joy of this Christmas season, even if i have somewhat got used to it.

Day 9 - New surroundings, though no sun to emphasis my point as it's 8pm

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Packing, Packing... Pokemon!

So it's packing day today, and having tried to sort a suitcase out for going home next weekend, i will have to pack again next week, as... well it wasn't the best packed. Surprisingly though i seem to have nearly everything fitting in the boxes i brought up with me. Everything apart from my computer, monitor and other computer things (because i'm using them at the moment). Then there's the printer, which still has no ink and so is sat uselessly on my shelf, my power adaptors, laptop, desk lamp, hats, coats and jackets... ok so a lot really hasn't fitted. I'm still not sure how i have this much stuff, so tomorrow is going to be a fun day of carrying things to and fro.

Enough about all that, that's not important at all, what is more important is my starting of a new pokemon game on my laptop. Having not played since last talking about it here, i felt that the time had come to restart but i didn't want it to be anything normal. As you may remember (i'd be impressed if you do) last time round i cheated, no not cheated, used my initiative to acquire a dratini as my starter pokemon to make it more interesting. 

The reason i want to play now, is because i really want to have a go at the Nuzlocke challenge (look it up if needs be). And with what promises to be oodles of time, now is the perfect time especially since it'll end with a 3 hour train journey. So there's another challenge really i can try to defeat the elite four by the end of this week. This will of course in no way affect my CAD project which also needs to get done this week... no way at all, because after all CAD is just so much more exciting than Pokemon... 

As of now i haven't actually started the challenge, i gave this blog the priority. Now don't get too up yourselves thinking that your better than Pokemon, that'd be difficult to argue, i mean Pokemon, c'mon. However i know from previous experience that if i don't take the first opportunity to write a post, i will forget, guaranteed. And i'm determined to make this advent challenge without any failures. So don't worry whilst the week is beginning to fill up with things, this blog will still get priority. Also if you were worrying then i'd suggest you need to find something else to do, really do, i mean it's Christmas how can you worry about this.

So this next week is going to be a festive, chilled out, pokemon filled extravaganza, and then the week after will be just as awesome, even without the pokemon, as however good Durham is, it will be great to be back home with my friends and most likely back at the pub.

Day 8 - I have now all packed up and i forgot about the picture until after this, but i promise you the calendar is there somewhere

Friday, 7 December 2012


This daily posting isn't going all that well really, as this is going to have to be a really short one, as shortly i have be at choir rehearsal for a concert tonight, which will then take up the rest of the evening. What have i been doing for the rest of the day? Well, i was for once in a working mood and so i wasn't going to let it go it waste. So after my exam i decided to knuckle down and dig into my CAD project... and it's frankly gone very well and should easily be polished off next week, meaning a nice work free Christmas is in store for me.

Talking of Christmas, the end of term is firmly in sight now, with less than a week to go. This is one of the reasons for all the festivity happening at uni. Tomorrow i shall be packing, which means i should hopefully remember to set aside proper blogging time again, Sunday's moving day and Christmas lunch at church, Monday .. well is Monday, it's the only normal day next week, Tuesday i have half the number of lectures, Wednesday none, Thursday is Christmas formal and then early Friday morning i'm heading off home.

I really don't know why i told you all that, i just felt like i should actually write something here to make the post at least a little worthwhile. Hope you all are making the most of this time of the year and see you tomorrow...

Day 6 - At least i didn't forget till 10pm this time... 7pm is much better

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Let it Snow!

It feels a bit writing this post about snow, when it is currently drizzling outside, but it's ok because this post is not actually just about snow, it was just too good a title not to use. To explain Durham has been through... well let's just say a quite lot of weather recently, i would say varied but the heatwave i was hoping for hasn't happened unfortunately; a bit annoying since the only reason i came to Durham was for the brilliant and warm weather... oh no wait i'm getting confused with myself, that was why i like the Med.

This is the story of how my advent calendar got slightly damaged.

(roll title theme, with suitable picture montage taken in a bar with some friends)

The story begins sometime ago, whilst i was back at home for the weekend. Waiting on platform 13 (i platform i didn't even know existed a while back) at Manchester Piccadilly. I was just coming back from a great weekend, although the 6:30 start wasn't so great. To cut a long descriptive link to the next part (i really don't do descriptive) my train was late. Not unusual you say, well it was for me after i was just boasting how great Transpennine were for being on time all the time, also the fire near the tracks between Oxford Rd and Piccadilly might have had something to do with the lateness.

So the train arrived 30 minutes late, but that was fine with me, they said they could make up the time. Then after getting stuck behind two stopping trains (one to Leeds, and the other to York) this illusion was pretty much shattered. Needless to say by the time i got to York, we were an hour late with still another hour journey to make. Then what was a funny moment became reasonably annoying. A woman got on our train, asked whether it was the Middlesborough train, and we duefully replied no, she then tried to get off, only problem was that the doors were now firmly shut. So she was there shouting at them and trying to force them open.

Magically they seemed to open. It wasn't magic, they had opened to let us off not her, as the tannoy explained that we had vacate and wait for the next train to Newcastle, as this train was now going to Middlesborough. Thankfully after all this and after we had all gotten onto the next train nothing else happened, apart from everything that was meant to happen, like the train going to Durham, so i should really say, nothing else unexpected happened.

Wait a minute this story has got nothing to do with my advent calendar, that happened a few weeks later. Ah well it's not as if the start of this story gave the wrong impression, and that it will actually take at least 8 series to get to the actual point. I might add that they are 8 great series and also if you're confused you've just totally missed a reference, but i'm quite used to people not getting my references, though quite a few of my friends have figured out that the answer "hitchhiker's right" is normally correct (it isn't in this case FYI).

However i do feel a bit guilty now, and so i will tell you the actual events of how my advent calendar became slightly damaged. But for whatever reason (i really don't feel the need to come up with one) i'm going to start from now and work backwards... because that's the way i roll. Actually it's not i tend to roll in a haphazard way whilst incurring many injuries and in any direction with flailing limbs.

So as i have previously mentioned my view from my window is of beautiful snow (well more sludge now, but i assure you it was beautiful snow at some point). This is because it has been snowing up here, twice in fact. Once in the depths of night, so i did not see it happening at all, i mean who's up at 1am at university? But i saw the other, mainly because i was walking at the time and you tend to notice being bombarded with snow, if only because of the blurry vision, that would either be down to snow or a very sudden onset of shortsightedness.

The side effect of this snow is slippy paths, which are quite comical for those who are experienced enough to walk on them without serious adverse effect, whilst watching many who have not attained this skill. Of course snow on it's on can't have caused such problems and you're right the other reason for all this ice, is well the ice we had before. A week before the snow fell infact the ice was here, as the positive Celsius went into hibernation and the negative came out to wreck havoc, and very cold noses.

Now you can't have ice without water (i really hope everyone reading this understands this principle). So for all this ice to appear there had to be water before, and i haven't led you down a blind alley because surprise surprise just before the ice it had rained... a lot.

Now back to Piccadilly train station. This time the train was on time, and i had firmly put the events of the couple weeks before behind me, all ready for a straightforward train journey. Any of you who follow the news, will probably know that this was an unlikely event since the rain had caused a few problems in the north east. Well a few problems equates to flooding, i mean proper flooding: i saw a river where it was a foot below the top of a telephone pole, somehow i don't think that's how it was designed.

Basically it meant another delayed train, although the views were very interesting, and we didn't have to change in York, despite being told over the tannoy again, luckily this was quickly rectified as we were let through Darlington (and actually the last train that day to stop at Chester-Le-Street). Durham fared better than the Darlington area, but nevertheless there were still problems.

When i got back the river bank had flooded the pathway and some lecture rooms were actually flooded. A new river had also appeared near Prebends bridge, down the hill and was nicely filling the reservoir on the roundabout, or should that be the reservoir that was the roundabout.

So it's been an eventful few weeks in terms of weather here, i've managed to make it through it all reasonably  well though, i mean my boots have quite high water marks, and my hair has been towel dried after walking from town but no ice related injuries or such. This has been the story of how my advent calendar... oh wait, almost forgot: basically it got bent in my rucksack on the train, having been given it in Macc by my parents, and then got damp when walking back through the rain and flood. You see i definitely needed all the build to that thoroughly exciting story and in no way have i over dramaticized something.

Ok maybe i did, sorry about that... but i assure you waiting for the story of the throat lozenges or the one-point perspective drawing, will be well worth it...

Day 6- You'll never look at this calendar in the same way now you know what it's been through

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

I've Been Busy Ok...

I am quite sorry for this, although i knew at some point this point would occur, and as i'm not one for saving pre-written posts for such occasions (that just feels wrong), this is going to be a very short post today, but i am posting and that is what counts. Normally i would probably just leave it and say sorry tomorrow, but not this time. This is time i'm determined to be different, if only by apologising on the correct day. So yes, i am sorry especially since it's only day 5 into this series, but c'est la vie really, well more like c'est le Sean (my french is not that good, so sorry if that doesn't make sense). 

Basically today hasn't been particularly busy primarily, as i only had one lecture and then a formal meal, but inbetween i have been revising for an exam tomorrow (my revision is still working) or talking with my friends before/ after said formal meal. I thought i would have time after the meal for a proper post, not well thought out i will conceive, after all my social life does come before this blog (sorry for anyone who thought otherwise).

So that's it really, sorry is all i've got to say. I might add that i can't promise that this won't happen again, because it most likely will, knowing me, but i'm not posting this on facebook, there really doesn't seem any point. Will i write a longer post tomorrow to make up for it? Probably not, that's not the way this blog works really, i tend to just arrange my nonsense into to some form of English and leave it at that, and nonsense cannot be forced out. Anyway i'd best be off to get a proper kip before the exam tomorrow, i always find sleep and a good breakfast are much better than any revision, see you all tomorrow... hopefully.

Day 5- has Sean sunk into his old ways already... not quite, but the photo gives away how late it was when i got round to taking it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Packing Up a Week Early

Ok, i know that that isn't the greatest title ever thought off but it quite accurately describes the current process i'm going through. On a side note if the title is different to "Packing Up a Week Early" then please ignore this and the previous sentence, i might go and changed the title later once some moment of inspiration enlightens me, but i highly doubt that i'll ever change what i'm writing here.

Back to the story, so yes the title above (may or may not) describe the current process i'm going through of packing up my stuff from my uni room. But wait a minute, why am i packing a full 10 days before i leave? It's rather simple to be honest, nothing to do with being highly organised, on sunday our college has a room moving day. You might think that that sounds very weird, and it does frankly, it's also a bit annoying. I won't complain too much though, because as events have conspired i've managed to find myself in the situation where i'm leaving the room with noise from the bar, a neighbour who has the widest range of (loud) music taste, one minute it's the Dire Straits then Cinematic Orchestra then to dubstep, though i only dislike one of them being blared through the wall. Probably worst, even though i've come to live with it, is the hot water tap.

Now when i arrived in Durham my hot water tap dripped, only a little, but it dripped. I was perfectly fine with that, it didn't annoy me, then after a couple of weeks it started to get worse, until it was pretty much a full trickle coming from it. So like any sensible student i went to the porters to get it sorted... and well i can't argue that they solved the problem, but wrenching the tap closed then leaving it wasn't quite what i had in mind. Ok, maybe i'm not being so truthful, they did say that they'd fix it as well at some point, but this was just an intermediate stage, a at least 8 week stage and counting though.

So yeah, i'm leaving all this for a refurbished room, in a quaint corner of college with a better kitchen (though not quite equipped enough for any kind of proper cooking yet). I suppose this is probably being viewed through tinted glasses though, and when i'm there the faults will no doubt shine through (ever the optimist). Despite that i will still claim vigorously that it is the best room, even while admitting the flaws, not sure why i do both, just complaining or just boasting would seem normal, but both at the same time, is that weird?

Packing has been the order of the day because of this, and also the revision that needs to be procrastinated, so two birds with one stone really. I might also mention that it's not weird for me to start packing several days before going away, i've always done that. To me it makes it so much more relaxed, and it also spreads out the excitement as well. It also means (in this case) much time can be wasted sorting through every single little thing, rather than rushingly sweeping everything into boxes, crates, suitcases, and anything i can use to hold things.

This has led me to sorting out all the things i picked up during fresher's week and then left in a draw, i dubbed the freshers junk draw. Freebies that seemed excellent at the time, mainly because they were free, but that i thought: maybe i will use them at some point, so i best leave them in this drawer which will no doubt ever be opened this whole term. This thought was wrong of course though, not only have i never used any of it, i also did open the drawer if only to clear it all out into the bin (and the paper into the recycling because i'm good like that, and so should you be (does that make me a eco-warrior, i feel like it deserves some accolade, i mean this is a well established (-ish), well read (-ish) blog)).

What makes this whole exercise a bit pointless though, is the fact that on sunday i'll move and start unpacking and then my packing for going home will probably start around tuesday. But that's just one of those things isn't it? That's not rhetorical btw, is it actually one of those things? as i'm not quite sure what one of those things is. So to anyone packing to go home from uni, or to go on holiday, if you get annoyed just remember that at least you don't have to pack to move rooms and then repack to go home. Also it's Christmas, so stop being so miserable...

Day 4 - This photo is definitely not faked just to add emphasis to my post.... definitely not.

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Music Related Post on a Monday... That Sounds Familiar

When thinking of what topic to write about today literally only one thought crossed my mind, and so frankly it was an easy decision to make. Why am i telling you this? Well because whilst that decision might have been easy to make, i couldn't quite figure out how on earth to start this post. In my head i had a clear idea and when it came to writing it... well i forgot the essential first word of the sentence and without that it didn't make any sense whatsoever, so instead i did this and i think it's working pretty well as an intro. Well as the very least it's better than a sentence with the key word missing. 

So what is this topic? Is it the elusive story of the advent calendar? Or about the snow that greeted me as i arose this morn and drew back the curtains? No, no it's not, it's actually about my Christmas playlist, as i thought it's monday and once upon a time i set about trying to write music reviews every monday, if you do so recall. Now rather than letting those times fade into the past, i decided instead to highlight my inability to post regularly and make you all remember what happened that first time i attempted to write anything of a regular blog, it might serve as an explanation if at any point in the next 22 days i suddenly just stop, which will definitely not happen, though it might to be honest... i mean it won't... let's just see how it goes.

Every year i make a Christmas playlist filled with festive tunes, so i can wile away the hours in the build up to Christmas day, by filling my head with such happy tunes. This year was to be no different, though it was, as i couldn't make a playlist whilst at uni because all my music is on my ipod and on the home server and not on my actual computer, meaning itunes won't let me make a playlist, even though i have the songs on my ipod (sorry i won't get dragged into another itunes rant again, that can be saved for the future).

I realised this annoying fact a few days before my journey up north and so had very little time to make a playlist, as i was preoccupied with other pre-uni things, namely packing because somehow i think that bedding is more important than a Christmas playlist, though it is a very close call. So my playlist is sadly lacking, but nevertheless it still has some great stuff on it and of course Spotify is always here to help fill in some gaps and give me some new music to listen to.

Over the next few mondays i might take the time to talk about specific albums in particular, especially in 2 weeks time as i will be back home, with access to all the Christmas music (insert relevant meme here, if you have no idea what i'm talking about, then just ignore this brackets). But for now i shall simply list the current songs/albums on my playlist/ Spotify playlist

In no particular order (well actually the order they appear on the playlist, as i'm just reading them off): Peace On Earth - Casting Crowns; Let it Snow Baby.... Let it Reindeer - Relient K; Over The Hills And Everywhere - Seabird; How Many Kings - Downhere; Drummer Boy - Jars of Clay; X Christmas - Various; Christmas! - Newsboys; Christmas in Diverse City - TobyMac; Oh For Joy - David Crowder Band; Christmas - Michael Buble; Gloria - 29th Chapter; The Ultimate Jazz Christmas - Various; and as ever the best Christmas song ever: Fairytale of New York - The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl.

So that's all i've got at the moment, not much pop Christmas songs, though that's because they're the ones that didn't make the journey up north. Have any recommendations for me? Feel more than welcome to post them in the comments below. I will endeavour to go through the best ones out of that list in the next few weeks and believe me some of them are quite brilliant and others are.... well different, in a good way though. 

That's all for today, as i need to be getting off to a carol concert in Durham cathedral, which promises to be amazing. So happy listening, whether to your own playlist or to a few of mine or a mix, whichever it is, it doesn't matter, just have a Merry Christmas and don't feel too embarrassed to sing along, after all isn't that what Christmas songs are for?

Day 3 - I should probably sort out these photos at some point, as they're not that great.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

'Tis the Season to do Revision...

Wrapping presents, writing cards, putting decorations up (not trimming up), eating mince pies, singing along to carols… and revision? Ok, so that’s not strictly true, out of all of them I’ve only partaken in the last three activities, and I haven’t eaten a mince pie in December yet. So basically all I’ve so far done in this most festive period is sung carols and done revision. Those of you who know me well will know that that is an absurd combination of things to find me doing.

I don’t sing much in public (or in private to be honest, so I could have just left out the “in public” bit… could of). Well this is true if you don’t count church, down a cave, up a hillside or just general walking around (the latter I get some weird looks for doing, but that’s the benefit of headphones, I don’t have to listen to myself), so apart from all that I don’t sing much, so basically I sing a reasonable amount. However I haven’t sung in any professional-esque way since quitting choir in year 7, right after achieving my goal of going to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Now this was something I had resolved to change when I arrived at university, the singing bit, not going to Blackpool again (though I’m not saying I don’t want to go to Blackpool again, so no offence to anyone from there). However this was soon put into doubt after only one choir practice, after which through a combination of busyness and can’t-be-bothered-ness I didn’t go again; but yesterday I found the perfect way to overcome such trepidation... the allure of singing carols, that and my new fondness to singing bass, the nice vibration when singing low is much better than the slight pain of trying to reach the highest tenor notes.

That was only one part of my weekend though, and whilst the Christmas festivities beckoned me into their warm arms, I had to resist such temptation. Instead I knew I had to embark on the daunting task of revision. Can I just say, (well it’s my blog, so I guess I can) who puts exams a few weeks before Christmas, that’s just against the Christmas spirit. Although I suppose it’s better than just after Christmas, and the fact that they moved them forward a week leading to 3 days of blissful nothingness (apart from an assignment) in the last week of term.

Before anyone questions, yes I did actually do some revision, and I’m glad I did having found out a few things I didn’t know, and then during revision today finding out that the few things I didn’t know were actually all helpfully laid out on a nifty formula sheet. It wasn’t all wasted though, as today I got absolutely scuppered on a whole section of a past paper, though I then realised that the equations I needed were also listed helpfully in a section later down.

So the first lesson from my revision is get to know what you’re given in the exam; useful stuff. Of course the rest didn’t go all swimmingly either, there were a couple of questions I didn’t get and am now tasked with reading up on said related topics. I realised though that these topics were the ones I missed because of my train being late one Monday morning (this is another interesting story to come, quite possible more interesting than the slightly damaged advent calendar, though they’re both frankly riveting stories, that in no way could be explained in just a few sentences, thereby cutting any attempted suspense. If you’re one to say, what suspense and laugh at this seemingly pathetic attempt at it, be warned in just a few days’ time you won’t most definitely not be able to sleep because of the suspense that will be eating away at you, like a hamster eating a mountain)

Lesson two therefore is go to your lectures and if you do miss one, actually read up on the missed topic and don’t just assume that it’ll all be alright (also be sure to read up on mountain eating hamsters, they most definitely exist and are in no way a figment of my slightly weird imagination, and a terrible simile as well).

My final lesson for successful revision is this: whatever you do don’t just give up because of one question that has a massive amount of words, that as an engineer scares you to no end, and turn to writing a blog post instead. That should never, ever be done…

Another door another day... also to add to the already overwhelming suspense, some of those items you can see will be talked about in the upcoming month.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

It's Christmas! Well the Start of my Celebrations...

Yesterday was a very long day. All the talk about the Last Day of Non-Christmas, made me feel... well quite Christmassy, and yet i had to bundle it all up and keep it under wraps until today. Now it is today, and therefore the start of my Christmas. The advent calendar has been opened, the chocolate quickly gulped down (it tasted so Christmassy, not sure what that taste likes though), that might have been due to me missing breakfast having had my first lie-in for a while (but i predict many more to happen during the festive period). The playlist is out already and filling my room with the festivities, definitely making up for the severe lack of actual decorations; on a side note, does any here say trimming up the house when talking about putting decorations up, weird question i know, but one of my friends does and none of us had ever heard of it.

The other way i'm making up for the decoration absence is through the sprucing up of my blog. Last night i was playing about the blog's design and settled on something ever so slightly different from before (not sure if any of you saw it) but this morning i scraped all that, opting to make a festive template for this festive period. Though it was incredibly hard to try and find my own Christmas background that would actually work with my blog, so instead i've had to revert to a typical Sean-bodge job and use a blogger provided one. Hope you like it, if you don't then i don't really care since i do, and if you are annoyed with the lack of Christmas green, that feeling of not caring is equally extended to you, because frankly i just prefer red, whether it's original or not.

Hopefully if i can keep to my promise of daily blogging, all this sprucing up will be all worth it; especially since revision and an assignment has been put off to do it. On a similar note, due to the daily blogging, whilst i have many-a-things to write after over a month off, don't expect any long prose as i will be trying to stretch it all out, to make everyday have something worth talking about. If by chance new topics crop up (i'm hoping they will, otherwise this could be quite a boring Christmas), then i'll just rejig it all to fit everything in.

So whilst yesterday and today have very much been much ado about nothing, tomorrow should hopefully commence the actual topical posts. And as a sneak preview (a.k.a. everything i've actually thought of and have consequently written down, rather than just forget) here's a few things that i have to talk about: various Christmas albums which are essential to my playlist, the start of a truly mobile blog, various uni matters including the annoying room change, and last but definitely not least the story behind the slightly damaged advent calendar.

But for now, i shall simply say Merry Christmas Everybody, hope it's an enjoyable time of year for you all.

Day 1- hence one door has been opened, it's how advent calendars work.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Last Day of Non-Christmas

So it's that time of year again, November is drawing to a close and December is just around the corner. Many have already taken the opportunity to affix the decorations or sing along to the carols, but not I. As ever i have stuck hard and fast to my December rule, for me Christmas shall always start on the 1st of the last month of each year, on that day and on that day only shall i open up my Christmas playlist and welcome the festive tunes to my room.

Being at university hasn't affected this either, even with the reduced time to celebrate, the December rule isn't affected by such a change of circumstance. However this year, the urge to let out the festive spirit has been greater than recent years, which has put the rule under serious strain. Could i make it to the 1st without any festivities? Alas i could not, i'm afraid to say, i have already played a few Christmas songs, though i console that with the fact is was more of a way of finding out what Christmas music had made the journey up north.

Also the first mince pie of the season has already been scoffed down, though i'm not sure this has ever been a part of the rule anyway. How can one possibly refuse a mince pie when offered? Anyway i believe the mince pie is a symbol of the upcoming festivities, a pre-marker really. Having said all this, i still haven't seen a Christmas advert, which might suggest to you i don't watch TV. Au contraire, i have been watching a lot of TV, it's just all online and so the annoyingness of early Christmas adverts has been mostly avoided.

However my excitement for the season is still higher than ever, which has led to my formation of an new part of the build up to Christmas, that is today shall now be known as "The Last Day of Non-Christmas". Ok, so it's not the snappiest name, and yes there might not seem to be much point to elevating this day to this title, after all surely it's just the same as any other year. Well yes actually, i haven't quite got round to actually figuring out what this day should encompass.

Obviously it can't have any real part of Christmas celebrations related to it, as that's the whole point of it. Frankly the less it is celebrated the better on principle really. So this is me telling you about a whole new part of Christmas celebrations, which shouldn't be about Christmas nor should it be celebrated. Yep that sounds about right. The only real significance it does symbolize is the start of what i hope to be daily blogging, to make amends for the lack of such over the last weeks which have flown by so so quickly.

Although this should not really be counted as the first of the series of advent blogs, since today has nothing to do about Christmas and therefore nothing to do with advent either. So it should be treated as any other post really, though now that i've mentioned all this it's probably better if you just forget it all ever happened and pretend that you didn't read a single word. So if you could do that, great; if you can't then i might have to find alternative ways to make you "forget".

So merry (in a totally non-Christmas way) last day of non-Christmas everyone!

This is a totally non-advent related advent calendar, that will be used as a visual way for the countdown of... well you know. (I'll explain why it's in a bit of a state at some point too)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Frisbee, Food and a Fire Alarm

Unsurprisingly this is going to be another uni themed post, something about the change of scenery lends itself to writing, that and the fact with the emphasis now on weekly posts they will now include more everyday events than before, but hopefully if the last few weeks are a sign of the future that should lead to some good topics to write about. If you haven't quite noticed yet openings aren't exactly one of my strong points, rather than create a smooth transition into writing, i much prefer the stumble around cluelessly and hope that when read over it makes some sense at the very least. I suppose, though, that could be something i can look to improve over this year... or i could just leave it to be and see how that goes... yeh i like the sound of the latter. Still i have the dilemma of how to start this post, maybe attempt some sort of link now, or maybe just jump straight into it... i tell you what i'll borrow a trick from one of my friends.

Talking about fire alarms, what would you consider the worst time to have the fire alarm go off? Got an answer? Well since i have no idea what your answer is that was quite a pointless exercise as i can't exactly make a comment on it, but what i can say is that yesterday morning having just got into the shower has to be up on such a list. I would set the scene but i think the previous sentence suffices as such. So i was faced with 3 options, one of which was only a fleeting possibility as it was a stupid idea: go outside in my towel; go back to my room, get changed, then proceed outside; or, just stay in the shower and hope that it protects me.

Needless to say that the stupid option was the first, especially in the cold of a Durham morning. So there i was faced with the two options, and as with any quick decision making situation, there's little time to think and anytime spent thinking is quickly followed by the thought of the time wasted thinking and the need to make a decision, which leads onto thinking about said decisions for a bit, followed by the thought that you're wasting time and so on and so on. Luckily i didn't get sucked into this infinite cycle, as my inbuilt decision timer (as previously discussed on vvv) kicked in.

I'll relieve the suspense you've no doubt worked up and let you sit back away from the edge of your seats and tell you that i in fact went back, got changed and went outside. The annoying thing with this was i was now outside fully clothed and it was now breakfast time, which meant that the effort of taking a shower had significantly increased and half the purpose (to wake me up) had ceased to exist (the cold outdoors does a much better job of that). And since it was just a drill, there was no danger anyway, though i'm still sure a shower is a reasonably safe place in a fire, so looking back i wish i had just stayed in there.

Now i should say that as well as opening being a problem, this week the joints are too, especially after last weeks coincident galore.  So here is the rather cumbersome and awkward joining section... yeh this is it really not sure how to follow, though given the title you should hopefully know where it's going (although having looked at it, i now realise that the order makes little sense, so there's the possibility of two topics to come up next). Riveting stuff hey... no not really.

Anyways... Food (glorious food, as the song goes). I'm not sure whether i've mentioned my summer eating habits and i'm not going to go back and check so i'll assume you haven't, and if you have feel free to shout at me, although you will just be shouting at a computer screen. During the summer (and the previous months in the run up to it) i went through an unusual (well for me) eating pattern, well pattern is a loose word for it. For most my life i've eaten at set times and when i've been hungry inbetween, which moulded into a very regimented breakfast, 11 o'clock snack, lunch, cheese on toast, tea routine. Over summer however this all changed and i ended up eating 2 or even 1 meal a day, but i'm not really here to talk about that part, more about the now enforced meal times of university.

It feels weird, to say the least, especially since i'm now eating when i'm not hungry ( i haven't really been hungry since i've come to Durham.) Although whilst this is partly down to the set mealtimes, it is also alot to do with the colleges love of all things potato. One meal they served gnocchi, new potatoes, chips and jacket potato, i never thought i'd say this but that is too much potato. The other problem i'm facing is their salad bar, sounds healthy you say, and yes it is apart from the coleslaw, which is just oh so tempting. The first week i was having it with every meal, now i've managed to cut it down to only lunch, but it still doesn't seem to healthy, but then again it is in the salad bar, which technically means i have salad everyday.

So i've had to find ways to combat this gluttony (hey look an actual link that works!) the Durham hills of course help a lot, but that is not enough to combat it. Frisbee to the rescue, well ultimate frisbee to be more precise. I have a lot to say about this grand sport, but time is of the essence as tea is just round the corner, so i'll save that all for another time. All i feel i should say now, is that if you have the opportunity to try out ultimate, then don't waste it.

Now normally i'm quite at endings, but this week is obviously not a good week for me, as i really can't think of a way to end this. And with time pressing, i'm not sure i can afford much indecision here, so yeh i suppose that's it for this week, hope you have a good week.

This is the end of today's post.

Was that too abrupt? Nevermind, that comment has just made it pointless though... So this is really the actual end, no more to write... at all... bye.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Not So Great Expectations

A Durham greeting i extend to you all, from well... Durham. So here i am, same computer, different view; and it's not the green pastures or cathedral framed picture i had built up in my head, but still a tree lined road  is much better than the white wall with shelves of junk i had before. Even if the constant walking about of people outside is slightly distracting, and also an unfamiliar assault on my privacy; closing the curtains whilst getting changed just feels unnatural.

Of course this isn't the only thing that is different from the visions in my head, what would life be like if everything were? Probably quite nice actually, but i'm sure something along the lines of missing the unknown and spontaneity should be mentioned here, but then again studying engineering means i don't have to consider such questions,so anyone who is studying a subject that is concerned with questions as such, feel free to use the time not in lectures to answer it for me (sorry couldn't resist a quick) Also it coincidentally leads me onto my point (and it was in fact a total coincident, i rarely know where my posts are going).

I don't have as many lectures as i had thought i would! This was a nice surprise i got last week, having been given my timetable. I mean only two 9am starts! I'm sure if i showed some people it, they would not like the look of it, but i was under the impression of a much worse situation, though 6pm finish on friday slightly throws a dampener on it. Who cares though, i don't really, i'm still excited by the prospect of actually having free time. Which by a crazy random happistance, brings me to the case of filling said free time, another thing i've found different from my imagination.

Having not looked at a single society before leaving for the beautiful north east (a compliment to the locals won't hurt), i was expecting a plethora of hobbies that enticed me to fill my spare time. As you might have guessed, this was not the case at all. In total i think i joined 3 uni societies and some college ones, although having said that they have managed to organise them all at similar times annoyingly, and with no access to a cloning machine (again engineering can't help that much here), that number will most likely have to be cut. Already hill walking and caving are out the window, if just because of the cold weather that would accompany them (and definitely nothing to do with my preference of lazing about over exercise).

Again this leads me on to the next difference (things are tying up really nicely today). The old small talk opener, the weather. Yes it's cold, but not as cold as i thought it'd be, i haven't used a coat yet, although that is partially due to me not wanting too until winter truly arrives, so i'll be somewhat acclimatised. Luckily though my hopeful image of little rain seems to be holding up well. Ok, i suppose it did tip it down during matriculation (the only time i had to be outside), but that was pretty much it. All the other time has been accompanied with glorious blue sky, with a few wispy clouds, which coincidentally is my favourite type of sky; the clouds are very good for daydreaming, and by the looks of things this could become my major past time if these clashes keep happening.

Apart from all that everything is just how i imagined: the small room; cluttered spaces, well not as cluttered as home, but then i haven't fully unpacked yet; good food, not as good as home but much better than a lot of food i've happily eaten before; late nights chatting on the landing; budgeting, my spreadsheet is quite impressive if i have to say so myself; and many other things that currently escape my mind and will thusly be put into a general generic uni stuff category.

First week of uni has been great, if you hadn't gotten that impression from this post already, and that i expected. What i hadn't expected, to be honest, is the writing of this post, i know i promised to try and become more regularly in blogging, but i didn't expect to find the motivation to do that until later this term, so yeh it's not just uni that's surprised me. Having said that, i haven't quite got my timetable all sorted yet, so this will become weekly but for now it won't be assigned to a particular day; i'm certain within time, a day will be naturally selected as a good day for blogging, but for now this blog will still remain slightly random and spontaneous, that you can expect.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Summer Sabbatical

Over the previous summer i haven't really found the time (or effort, mainly effort really) to blog that much, and for this i'm sorry. Yes i have started my vlog but that doesn't make up for over a month of silence on this little webpage of mine. Now i could make the excuses of me prepping for university, but i'm not going to lie, that has just not been the case at all, more honestly all that's happened in my life for the past month has involved either a bed, computer chair or sofa. It's amazing how enjoyable and time-sapping lazing about can truly be, but nevertheless i intend to make the summer a one-off, and as i embark onto my journey through university i hope to make this blog a more regular thing, hopefully it might even become a schedule weekly event.

But wait there's more... I also hope to run my vlog alongside, on another hopefully regular timetable. Especially now i have an actual fully functioning webcam for my computer, which will mean no more precariously stood phone, with it's annoying auto-focus. However this is all being said with ignorance really, as i have no idea how much time i will have to do these things whilst studying full time, but i'm hoping the daily uni work, will make me much more productive allowing for it to happen. Also i'm sure there'll be plenty to converse about and if not i can just ramble on about nothingness, as per usual (i mean i've written 2 paragraphs without a really topic right now).

So yeh, that's that really. Saying all that i'd best get back to packing, apparently chucking everything into a room doesn't count and things actually have to be packed into boxes and suitcases etc. But i hope to talk to you all next week, all the way from the hills of Durham. For now though goodbye and have a good week... oh and if you see a Jack Russell puppy in Macc, then his name is Ernie, i'll explain that story later.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Not much to say about this one, most of the info is in the video description, next video i probably won't even write anything to go with it here but i will continue to post the video's here, just because i feel like i should:

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Great Expedition To The Vlogosphere

Right so for the first time ever, after much threatening to do so, i have made a vlog! No need to applaud me... yet wait until you've watched it first. For once i've come through on a promise, and all i needed was post-olympic boredom to drive me to do so, so maybe after the next world cup i might invent a cure for cancer or build a fusion reactor, who knows. I'll stop writing now, as this is just meant to be an introduction to the vlog and not a blog post in itself, read the video description it outlines a few of the post-recording comments i wanted to share, but most importantly, sit back, relax and enjoy... and keep quiet if you don't enjoy it:

Monday, 6 August 2012

My Mildly Mad, Maybe Mundane, Monday Music... Review

M7R - YNot Festival

M7R is a bit different this week because instead of an album review, i will be (attempting) to review music from a festival. Now obviously M7R is all about less well known bands and so to reflect that i will be picking from the smaller bands i stumbled upon during my time in the mud. 

Honestly though i didn't get round to listening to too many bands though, more time was spent making the most of the slithers of sun that shined upon the fields in between the sporadic showers. So this will be a short (possibly very short) post, as i'm not in the mood to attempt any stretching out or waffling. Actually i'm going straight to the top three songs, and will give a quick description of each band along the way and mention any left out...

Top Three Songs

Noteworthy: Freeze The Atlantic; Bastille; Boat to Row

3) By The Rivers - Don't Say You Love Me Video not available, so this will have to do...

These guys i just happened to walk into the tent having heard the ska sounds coming out of the tent as i wandered by, and since i quite like ska music i entered and enjoyed it greatly. What made it better was the fact that they had got the whole tent dancing but then again once you've listened to them you'll understand how hard it would be not to. To put them simply, refreshing ska with no twists or tricks; just dance-inducing ska music.

2) Little Comets - One Night In October 
To my disappointment these guys weren't quite as good live as i had expected, having listened to them before going to YNot. However they still deserve number 2 on this list just because of their lively, bit chaotic (pans and tambourines suspended on the stage) but simply brilliant music. I might add that i was planning on doing a review on their album before and hopefully at some stage i will get round to it.

1) King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys - Puerto Rico
Nothing can beat a bit of good old fashioned jazz, and these guys are the prime example of this. Walking into a tent to be greeted by everyone dancing, laughing and being just generally joyful, whilst the double bass is swung about on stage and sax's blast out joyous melody, is a sight to behold. What's more they were one of the only bands i saw to get an encore and then another (although they didn't reply to the second), people just couldn't get enough and neither could i. So please just check them out, but preferable in a room filled with people who are ready to dance to some amazing music.

Monday, 23 July 2012

My Mildly Mad, Maybe Mundane, Monday Music... Review

M7R: Yellow Ostrich - Strange Lands

Right so technically this is the second week of M7R, although it's come 3 weeks after the previous. Sorry about that, but if you read today's other post i give a somewhat full explanation. Wait there's something in that sentence i'd like to repeat though, today's ! Yes this is indeed my second post of today, and i reckon that it somewhat makes up for my general laziness induced absence from any blogging. Ok i'll also admit now that perhaps the timing of the introductions of both M7R and T7C were frankly poorly timed, but hey-ho that's just how i roll (if you are able to roll in a random and unorganized manner).

Anyway back to the whole purpose of M7R, that is reviewing music (i think, it's been too long). And as those of you who read in a normal top to bottom, line by line, and not a haphazard random way, will already know what album i'll be reviewing this week. For those of you who prefer the random approach to reading, this week i'm reviewing Strange Lands, by Yellow Ostrich, a band who i found on the rather excellent Noisetrade site (give it a check out if you wish).

Firstly i will now say that it is... well... different, unique or substitute your own synonymic adjective. So i suspect you'll either love it or hate it, or indeed moderately like it or dislike it, ok that's really not going to work, but basically they haven't made music that will please the majority, and for that i like this album. More importantly i like it because i fall into the love it bracket of the music style they incorporate, and i think that may be to do with it reflecting my previously mentioned rolling fashion.

Each song generally starts with a guitar riff of some sort, bass or electric guitar and they're simple but great, as any good riff. Then the singularity of the sound is quickly broken with the introduction of more sounds (very technical language i know). But generally there isn't many layers to their songs, each part is clear to hear so you aren't bombarded or overwhelmed, making it very easy to listen to and relax to. I found it quite beneficial to listen to whilst reading.

The lyrics and the voice with which they're sung plays a huge part in this. It's quiet restrained and the lyrics aren't catchy and so instead of listening to the actual words sung, instead they just become part of the music and sound. Well that's what happens for me, i haven't really played it to my friends that much and so external opinions are hard to come by, which is more the reason for you to give them a listen and make up your own opinions and possibly share them.

Now i'll single out some songs like any good reviewer would do, and this is causing me a slight problem, because whenever i listen to Strange Lands the songs tend to merge into a continuous songtrack, no matter how shuffle throws them at me. And that might give you a general idea of one the downsides of the non-catchy lyrics, or even melody to some extent; the songs really aren't that memorable. I mean i can remember bits of each song that enjoy (like the opening of Marathon Runner, or the chorus of Stay At Home) or in one case a bit i dislike (i really don't like to be assaulted by brass instruments, which is precisely what happens in When All Is Dead)

So apart from that bit actually, i really like this album and so instead of trying to single out specific songs now, i'm just going to go straight to the top 3 and let you listen to them and make up your own mind, because i am sure that you're view will be totally different to mine anyway, and i can't seem to express mine very well at the moment, perhaps it could be argued that i could never do such a thing anyway.

Top Three Songs: 

1) Stay At Home

2)Marathon Runner 

3)I Got No Time For You

Skippable Songs: None, though maybe skip through the brass part of When All Is Dead

Best Listening Situation: Background music to reading or writing, preferable immersed fully with over ear headphones.

Sorry About the Wait

Well to be more exact the wait i could do little about, having had no access to the internet over the past few weeks, so i'm not sorry about the wait that much. However i am sorry for the fact that despite having so much free time, in which incidentally i found myself bored with little to do and able to write posts on my laptop, and having post ideas to write but inevitably i could not even bring myself to even write a title. Not a single word was written, giving a horrible words written to games of solitaire played (and i don't even really like solitaire, it annoys me that it's so much down to luck).

So really the title of this post should in fact be "Sorry for being too lazy and unmotivated to even try to write anything in the oodles of free time i've had" but that is way to long winded and self deprecating. Also i'd like to think that in between the pointless games of solitaire i actually did some useful things, well useful in comparison to said games of solitaire. 

Firstly i underwent a mini renaissance of literature, having read 8 times the amount of books in the past 2 weeks than i've read on my kindle since getting it, and also 8 times the amount of books that i've read in pretty much the past two years. Yes i read a whole 8 books, which sounds impressive until you realise that in the past 2 years i had only read 1 book cover to cover, though in my defense i've read a lot of Sherlock Holmes aswell, it's just that the book is quite large. And as my friend's have already asked those 8 books weren't Mr.Men, i couldn't find my Mr.Men books otherwise the count would have been much greater. In fact the kindle has inspired me to read some classics (and some hitchhiker's, but they're essentially classics), so now i've added the likes of Frankenstein, treasure island and Dracula to my repoirtoire.

And the cultural enlightenment didn't stop there, well it did to some extent but i'll get to that, for right outside my cabin was an art gallery and in St.Petersburg i went to the Hermitage where i saw some works by the likes of Da Vinci, Rafael, Monet, Picasso, Michelangelo and many more. However as mentioned before i'm not sure whether to count that as enlightenment, but all i did in the end was along the lines of: "oo that looks nice, i like the colours in it" or "why on earth is that painting worth that much? i wouldn't buy it". But i blame that more on my ineptitude of the artistic lexicon, whenever i look at art i tend to mumble something that makes perfect sense in my head, but little sense out of it and so i think maybe with a bit of training i might be able to translate my thoughts to artistic comments (otherwise known as utter made-up waffle).

So yeah that's pretty much what i've been doing for the past 2 weeks, that and eating dishes i've never heard off. Oh of course there was also all the actually visiting different cities, that was probably the most important part, and i'm thinking of writing a bit of a vvb style guidebook of the various places i've visited (and when i say vvb style i of course mean, pretty much useless and highly opinionated and so should not be used as any kind of guide). Then on top of that, having a week of sitting at home doing nothing is giving so much to write about (so much more than 2 weeks of visiting exciting cities and different cultures). Which means that in my head i've currently got a few posts brewing which should arrive on the internet at some point in the next few weeks, which is sort of my way of apology for the past weeks.

Let me take this time then to say hope you're having a good holiday and if you're not then stop moping around and make it a gudden'. That's what i've tried to do and it's working so far, with the price to pay of... well... price really, i'm having a great time, it's just the scraping around to find cash to pay for the food and transport of the holidays i paid for that is the problem. But as the saying goes, it's better to scrimp and enjoy yourself, than save and have a miserable time (and in case you haven't heard of that saying there is a very good reason, that being that i've just made it up.) 

Have a froody summer!

Friday, 29 June 2012

My Jam-Packed July

If you’re reading this, then you’re the very privileged reader of my first ever travel blog post. Well, so it’s probably not technically a travel post, as it will have little reviewing of places or anything boring stuff like that, but instead what I mean by it is that I’m writing it on my previously mentioned jam-packed summer. Oh and I’m also writing it whilst hurtling at some not fast enough speed back to Macclesfield on a train. Which is my excuse why today no T7R will be seen, as I have no access to internet and therefore my whole recipe base has been taken away from me; however, if you actually care about T7R, you will be pleased to know that I will attempt (and attempt really hard) to write it tomorrow instead (and I don’t care that it’ll be Friday it’ll still be called T7R.)

So I presume the right place to start will be to explain why the heck I’m on a train, and why the heck is said train taking me back to Macc (no offense Macc, I would just prefer to be going elsewhere). Well the fact is that I’ve already started my jam-packed July (don’t you just love it when the title of something is included in the thing itself), and the place I’m currently travelling away from at a speed which frankly should be greater is Hampshire. (Also well observed people might notice that it is in fact June atm, but my July is so jam-packed it has overfilled into June and August)

Now I think it would be right to justify my comments about the train’s speed, which I will actually do properly this time (most usually for me, no waffle here, an actual solid reason). In the process of getting down to Hampshire (it was no coincidence that I ended up there) I took the train down to London Euston, then the sub across to Waterloo (well it in fact a mix of sub and frantic running after Waterloo sub was closed). That train took a measly hour and a half to make it to London, the train I’m now on is taking over 3 hours to make it back to Macc. Although having complained about the time taken, it has in fact ended up producing this (no doubt excellent) post.

Right so what else do I need to explain? How about why on earth was I in Hampshire in the first place? Well that one’s easy to explain, I came down to visit my friend Emma (who is the same Emma whom told me to write T7R, and now has subsequently caused the slight failure of it one week in). I’m going to go back on my original promise now, and just say quickly that Hampshire is in fact quite a nice place, end of review.
So that means one holiday down, several more to come with leaver’s ball and results day thrown into the mix too. Hopefully this was a sign of things to come, great-ish weather (well great for England) and great company with bundles of laughs; surely that is what summer is all about. 

However of course all these holidays do have their downsides, and no the travelling isn’t one (I’m the kind of person that believes that the journey is part of the holiday, even if it’s spent listening to music whilst day-dreaming about absolutely nothing). The major downside I foresee is the packing, for you packing fans might I add that I don’t hate packing (well maybe a little); it’s merely the situation and the timing of the packing.
Let’s put it into perspective, this train will arrive in Macc gone 11 pm, and I’m so tired (well tired now the “so” is retrospective as I know that I will have to sort this post out once back) and so I will be trying to get a good night’s sleep. Then tomorrow evening I will be at leaver’s ball, all dressed up in tux et al, then the next morning I will be driving at a great speed (I’ll add legal to that) all the way back south to Neath. So that leaves Friday afternoon for all packing and various and frankly a lot of chores.

Not too bad then, you might think but next Friday I’m having to leave my friends and Neath to get back to Macc, ready for a cruise (which is setting off from Southampton, so yet again I will be travelling to the south). Lucky me hey, well yes I’m not complaining about it, I really like the fact that my summer is so packed. But it does mean that tomorrow I will also have to pack for that as well, and since I don’t own enough clothes to last all 3 holidays (well t-shirts are fine) I will have to be washing and frantically drying clothes in order that I don’t end up getting a full body tan.

Sorry about complaining about that, it’s frankly a small price to pay for what will hopefully be the most bestest summer yet. Especially when I will able to make use of all my newly acquired blazers, having already done so (although it really hampered my mad dash across London). But wait, that’s not all, after all that I’ve got soul survivor to come (which luckily is not in the south, there’s a limit to the amount of yo-yoing between Macc and the south I can cope with), then Y-Not Festival (which is fantastically under an hour away). Then after the small matter of results day, I will finally be able to relax in Macc, before getting ready for uni and the dragging of Emma up north, in order to finally prove to her that north is best.

I think that’s enough of me talking frankly, and I might potentially get a kip (but most likely some useless time-wasting day dreaming). If you haven’t yet realised, this post is serving as my excuse of the very probably potential lack of posting in the coming weeks. So I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a great summer and hopefully I will be writing in a few weeks about the great time I’ve had, and if not then at least it’ll be an entertaining tale of woe.  

Monday, 25 June 2012

My Mildly Mad, Maybe Mundane, Monday Music... Review

M7R: Goldfish - Goldfish

So here i am first week into this little idea, and you know what i'm already doubting whether it was a good thing to do, but i'm committed now so that's why you are reading this now. The problem i had with it being the first week and all i wanted to listen to an artist which i know will be brilliant, and yet the whole point of this project was to listen to new music, and music people probably haven't heard of.

So this stumped me for a while, until i remembered the frankly fantastic band goldfish, who i inexplicable discovered a couple of years ago, from a video posted on There fusion of jazz and electronic dance was a bit unusual and at first i was needless to say dubious, not being a great fan of any kind of dance music, well honestly i despise it. But this, this was different. And so i downloaded the album that the video was from "Perceptions of Pacha", then when "Get Busy Living" there next album came out, i quickly downloaded that one too.

So not only have Goldfish changed my view on dance music, but it was long cemented itself in my list of favourite artists. I listened to them all of last summer whilst driving about, with the song cruising through being a song titled to such a purpose. During all my DofE i have listened to them, with their strong, but restrained to perfection bass, driving my feet from plodding to pounding to the beat. The enchanting melodic, and yet totally meaningless (it's not even words) chorus of "This is How it Goes", being one the prime memories of my time spent wandering around hilltops and forests.

Of course the point M7R was to listen to new albums, and with perfect timing Goldfish have just released a new album "Goldfish" which quickly became apparent that it was the perfect way to start M7R. At the first look, it seems to be a best of album with a few remixes thrown in for good measure, but buried in there are a couple of new songs which have been combined with my favourites from the older albums, to create a truly brilliant mixtape of awesomeness.

The first song "Washing Over Me" opens with a typical Goldfish sax riff, a feature along with the double bass, which encompasses the reasons why i think i enjoy Goldfish so much. The video is just as impeccable as all their others, however that not being on the album is quite pointless to mention. The other new song is "Woman's a Devil" which uses well fitted movie extracts and piano, put along with some great lyrics and beat that won't let you stay still, to create a song which i would describe as typically amazing Goldfish.

Hopefully you'll give them a listen, i really do think that if you don't you'll be missing out. And hey, if you don't like them, then that's fine as well, just please give them a chance. Most of my friends have now heard of them, down to my relentless playing of them in any situation, and most of them like them as well (well that's what they told me) So to sum this album up in one sentence, i would have to say "a great mix that typifies Goldfish" and in order for that to make some sense it will have to go with my sentence summary of Goldfish, "yes it's dance, but don't let that put you off, because the catchy melody, foot-tapping beat, jazz piano, saxophone and double bass, all mixed together and served alongside with some great lyrics, create a awesome music dish that is... well... just simply awesome"

Top Three Songs: 

1)We Come together
  2)Soundtracks and comebacks (though i prefer the original to the remix)

 3)Cruising Through

Skippable songs: None

Best Listening Situation: Anytime anywhere, unless you want to sit still then this won't work.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Thursday Thoroughly Tantalizingly Tasty Tutorial To... Cooking

T7C: Tortilla Bowls

Hopefully this will need little introduction, as it sort of follows M7R, apart from instead of reviews it just simple recipes (and since it's me cooking they're normally going to be quick and simple recipes which will probably need improving). Anyway as the title suggests this week i made tortilla bowls. There is a pic below if you want to know what the heck a tortilla bowl is, but if you want to know why i made them, then that's simply because they sounded awesome. I served them with texmex minced beef, guacamole, and some tortilla chips on the side.

Flour Tortillas
Minced Beef
2 Avocados
An Onion
A Tomato
Lime Juice
2 Garlic Clove
Cayenne Pepper
BBQ Sauce

1) Scoop the insides of the avocados into a blender, and blend thoroughly, add half the onion chopped, a garlic clove, and lime juice (to taste) and blend again. Finally add the tomato chopped into chunks.

2) Find some oven-proof bowls that a tortilla can be shaped around and sandwich one tortilla between two bowls. Cook at 180° until golden brown.

3) Cook the minced beef with chopped pepper, onion and anything else you want to throw in. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika and BBQ Sauce to taste, and the garlic clove.

4) Dollop the beef into the tortilla bowl (having removed the bowls after taking it out the oven), sprinkle cheese on top and top with the guacamole.

 Having made these i can say whilst the bowls do look pretty cool, i'm not sure they're actually better than the other tortilla cooking methods, for this recipe it's probably better served with just plain uncooked tortillas or as quesadillas (fried in frying pan). However i think the bowls are probably very good for other situations, maybe parties due to their quirkiness. So that's that for this week really, simple eh? Tune in next week for another recipe, which i would say what it is but i don't know actually... 

Monday, 18 June 2012

My Mildly Mad, Maybe Mundane, Monday Music... Review

M7R: Intro

Intro? you say. To what? you say. Well honestly that is currently something i'm asking myself atm. This is just one of my several "oo that would be a good idea" ideas and that was definitely how i felt yesterday and today... well i thought to myself is it really such a good idea, but since you're reading this you know that i have just gone for it, and thrown caution to the wind. Also i do have another similar thing to this hopefully coming later this week, but i will have to see how i feel then.

So back to this thing, well to summarize it in a couple of sentences: After making a comment to my friend Emma, about how i seem to listen to a different artist each week, i've set myself the challenge of listening to a different album each week (enforcing that statement) and i thought hey why not write about this in some sort of blog review thing. So that's it basically, a music review although saying that i'm not one to have strong opinions on music and tend to listen to a wide range so the reviews will vary from genre to genre and will mostly be not very critical or in anyway probably helpful. 

Just a few points i've come up with to help with this task is a general template, which knowing me will change constantly (hopefully for the better), this will involve: a top 3 list of my 3 favourite songs on the album and a list of my skippable songs i.e. songs that i'd prefer to skip than listen to; and probably the way i found the music most enjoyable, as i spend much of my day listening to music, whether that be driving, revising, reading, eating crisps or just listening to the music. 

So i think that's mostly all i wanted to say, the first proper M7R will be next monday and should hopefully be run weekly, however if i can't make it to a computer i might have to post a few weeks at a time. Finally i would love to hear some input, whether that'd be album suggestions (new and old, i'm listening to them all, but i'm trying to find less well known ones), new ideas for the blog in general or M7R specifically (constructive criticism only please, and maybe even some positive comments who knows). Now this is where i would like to introduce you to my new fancy blog email... *trumpet fanfare* this would be the ideal place to send your comments or you know just comment below either is fine, just one's not public.

 So that is that, i think. If you think i've forgotten anything just say, and if i remember anything i've forgotten i will post it in the next M7R. Apart from that regular VVB will continue, this will just run alongside. See you next monday for the first exciting (hopefully) M7R installment.